Love ...... Your Neighbor As Yourself . ..... October 18, 2020
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 ESV
A Pharisee asked Jesus a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. Matthew 22:36-39
The first of the ten commandments tells us how we are to honor God and the latter how we are to treat each other. I believe this is part of the reason why Jesus in his final statement to the Pharisee said, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:40 ESV. When a person makes the choice to love in obedience as taught by Jesus, they are living as an intentional disciple. When loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind, it will most definitely change the way you live. When doing what Jesus said next, .... Love your neighbor as yourself..., it will most definitely affect how you treat others. So how do we go about loving our neighbor as Jesus taught? Here are some thoughts.....
Love who God has put in your path. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Luke 20:30 ESV Jesus told of a man who had been beaten and robbed by thieves on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho. He told how a priest and a Levite passed by this man, having nothing to do with him. In fact, they walked on the other side of the road away from him. Later a Samaritan came by and dressed the man’s wounds, placed him on his animal, and took him to an inn to care for this man. When he left, he paid the innkeeper to continue to care for him and would pay any additional expenses that might accumulate. (Luke 10:30-35) Then Jesus asked this question, “Which of these three, do you think , proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among robbers?” Luke 10:36 ESV The answer given to Jesus was, “The one who showed him mercy” Luke 10: 37 ESV The point is this... You don’t need to go looking for your neighbor; as the Samaritan came upon the man in the road, so you will come upon those whom God will not want you to pass by.
Don’t Live Just For Self. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of the neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24 ESV The Bible teaches us to consider others as more important than ourselves. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourself. Philippians 2:3 ESV. Why is this important? It is important because it is how Jesus lived when he walked among them. He loved others, and his life caused people to seek him and come to him. I know we are not sinless, and we will not do this perfectly, but let it be the standard we place upon our life as a disciple. The purpose of living like this is not to draw people to ourselves, but to show the love of Jesus to people by being a representative of Christ to the lost. The ultimate goal in doing this is to draw people to Jesus and to bring glory to God the Father. What greater good can you give to your neighbors than to give them a glimpse of Jesus by how you live, and invite them to become a disciple and do the same? Love Does No Wrong To A Neighbor. Romans 13:10 ESV This sums it all up... this type of love fulfills the law of God. When you love as God has told you, it gives evidence of his presence in your life. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4: 7-8 ESV The priest and Levite that passed the man on the road were known as religious men and the Samaritan was a person not viewed favorably by the Jews. The point is this, how you love your neighbor with action as a disciple, is more important than the title one goes by ... Priest ... Levite... Christian. A disciple is a follower of Christ, and a true disciple desires to follow the teaching of his teacher. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 ESV.
Application As you walk the road of life don’t pass up the opportunity to minister to the one you pass on the side of this road. It can be overwhelming for the side of the road today looks more like a battlefield than a road. We see people hurting, suffering, and dying because of the thief. Don't be overwhelmed by the battle around you, but look at the neighbor right in front of you. Offer the salve of God’s grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness and love. The Bible is the purse we carry that contains all these ointments for the wounded; know how to use them, and apply them as God has applied them to you.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David